Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Hawks: Speedy Claxton
Lakers: Chris Mihm, Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum
10:02 Emphatic drunk from Lamar Odom to tie the game at four. Newly acquired Hawk Mike Bibby is getting booed every time he touches the ball as it looks like the STAPLES Center crowd is still riled up from a deafening introduction to Pau Gasol.
9:29 Fisher throws a perfect pass right to the rim for Gasol who easily puts in his first points on the home court. The Lakers have opened up a 12-4 lead behind an increasingly more raucous home crowd.
6:15 Gasol continues his strong start, grabbing the offensive rebound and laying the ball in and one. Pau leads the Lakers with six points so far, helping them to a 16-12 lead approximately halfway through the quarter.
4:52 Pau gets yet another boisterous ovation after spinning in the lane for a layup and one, his second in a row. If Gasol was nervous about playing in front of Lakers fans for the first time, it certainly isn’t showing so far. Odom is also off to a strong start for the Lakers with six points and five rebounds already.
3:17 Phil Jackson said before the game that Gasol provides a much-needed inside presence for the Lakers that can be used as a decoy for the team’s outside shooters. Case and point-Vladimir Radmanovic just swished a three from the top of the arc after Pau drew a double-team in the lane. The Lakers lead just reached double digits for the first time tonight at 24-14.
2:38 Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton enter the game for the first time for the Lakers.
1:33 Kobe snatches the ball away from the Hawks underneath the basket and puts it home with two hands. Nice to know that even with his injured pinky, Bryant isn’t afraid to throw it home when the opportunity presents itself.
12:00 Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf join Walton, Odom and Farmar to open up the second quarter.
11:07 Odom continues his outstanding start for the Lakers, laying in his eighth point of the night to go along with six rebounds already. More importantly, he’s quickly proving himself to be an excellent complement to Gasol and Bryant.
9:26 Sasha nails a deep two, almost immediately after receiving the pass from Farmar. The starting five came out of the gates with a lot of energy and it looks as if the second unit is picking up right where they left off, increasing the Lakers lead to a game high 19 points at 38-19.
7:20 Jordan shows great anticipation, stealing the ball from the Hawks and throwing down an impressive two-handed dunk with some attitude that gets everyone out of their seats once again. As he has done all season, Farmar has ignited the second unit.
6:48 Kobe returns to the floor for the Lakers.
6:02 After a flurry of steals and turnovers, the Lakers recover the ball and Luke Walton delivers with an uncontested dunk that forces Atlanta to call a timeout. The new-look Lakers just got a well-deserved standing ovation after they bumped they just doubled the Hawks’ points at 46-23 with six minutes to go until halftime. As a team, the Lakers are shooting 51% compared to only 39% from the Hawks. Fisher, Odom and Gasol all return after the timeout.
4:48 Kobe toys with Josh Smith before launching a three that hits nothing but net. On the following possession, Kobe showed no ill effects of his finger injury, weaving his way through the lane with ease en route to a layup off the glass. The Lakers have a commanding 53-27 lead.
2:16 Yet another standing ovation from an appreciative STAPLES Center crowd after Kobe assisted an unbelievable reverse layup from the cat-like Gasol. The Lakers are absolutely crushing the Hawks in every which way, now leading 61-27 and showing no signs of slowing down.
Standing ovation for the the Lakers after they manhandled the Hawks in the first half, outscoring them 73-37. Responding to an emotional pre-game introduction, Gasol came out on fire, scoring 17 points. Kobe also had a strong, if not relatively quiet first half, scoring 19 points while letting his teammates do most of the dirty work in building their impressive lead. Radmanovic also had a great first half with 12 points, nailing a three and slamming home a thunderous dunk with a level of aggression the Lakers aren’t used to seeing out of Vlade. Easily the best half for the Lakers this season.
10:39 Gasol starts the second half the same way he began the first, with an easy shot off the glass. With the make, he just tied Kobe for the team high in points at 19.
7:51 In case it wasn’t official before tipoff, it is Pau Gasol’s night. He just overpowered the Hawks for another layup right under the basket. Atlanta has had absolutely no answer for the forward tonight, regardless of the combo of players they’ve thrown at him.
5:27 Timeout on the floor with the Lakers leading 86-51. Atlanta has come out much stronger here in the third quarter although that isn’t saying much since they barely had a pulse against the energetic Lakers in the first half. Gasol, Kobe and Odom are showing the first signs of their potential as a monster trio. Lamar in particular has played particularly well in the third quarter, boosting his game totals to 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lakers. All five Lakers starters have reached double figures in scoring.
4:43 Kobe hits an unbelievable three as the shot clock expires, prompting the STAPES crowd to begin an “MVP” chant even though the Hawks have possession of the ball. The Lakers are up 88-55.
1:59 Kobe attacks the hoops with aggression, flying over the Hawks’ defenders for an easy layup that pushes the Lakers lead to 36 at 90-64. #24 has 23 points on the night to match Gasol’s effort.
28.8 Sasha replaces Kobe in the Lakers’ lineup.
11:24 Turiaf catches the perfect allyoop pass from Farmar and hammers it home to open up the fourth quarter scoring for the Lakers. Despite a little surge from the Hawks, the Lakers still lead by an overpowering score of 99-71.
9:30 Good news for the Lakers as Luke just nailed a tough fadeaway jumper for his second field goal of the night. Walton isn’t showing up big in the scoreboard like some of his teammates, but he’s been effective in his 14 minutes of play.
8:05 Seldom used D.J. Benga enters the game for the first time tonight. With no starters on the floor for L.A., it looks like we could be headed for some serious garbage time.
6:20 Coby Karl enters the game for the Lakers, becoming only the second player in NBA history to appear in a D-League game in the same day that they appear for an NBA team.
3:04 Gasol just left the Lakers’ bench for the locker room and drew a standing ovation from the fans seated around the Lakers’ tunnel. At 23 points and six rebounds, not even Gasol himself could have asked for a better home debut.
2:41 Coby Karl just sent STAPLES Center into pandemonium with a rim-shattering two-handed dunk. #24 is no where in sight and the crowd is giving Karl its loudest “Coby” chant of the night.
FINAL SCORE: Hawks 93, Lakers 122